Small Business Tips

How to Write a Business Press Release

Manasa Reddigari
Working on a press release

The success of a big business event may hinge on your ability to create a solid business press release. But when do you need one and what makes for an effective one?Keep reading to learn how to write a business press release.

What is a business press release?

A press release is an official announcement issued to a news outlet about a new development at a business. The statement takes the form of a brief written or video memo. And the news outlet could be an online or print publication. It could also be a television or radio broadcaster. The quality and reach of the outlet to which you send a press release are more important than the medium.It's often a business's media contact who pitches a press release to targeted media. Reporters at these outlets can then choose to publish or broadcast the press release.The goals of a business press release are to share vital information and create buzz. Whether you want to announce a product or a merger, the news should be newsworthy.

When should I send a business press release?

Examples of announcements you can get across via a press release include:

  • Product or service launches. A press release is a perfect place to highlight a new product or service offering.
  • Business relocation. A business move, within or across states, deserves wide communication. A press release that gets broad circulation can help achieve this goal.
  • Merger or acquisitions. A professional piece like a press release can expand on your decision to buy or join forces with a business. Both businesses involved can issue their own releases.
  • Personnel changes. Shake-ups in upper-level management often call for a press release.
  • Awards. A press release is one place where it makes sense to toot your own horn about a recent achievement.
  • Crisis management. Owning up to a mistake early through a press release can help avoid a PR nightmare.

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How to write a business press release

Enlist these tips to create and pitch a successful business press release:

  • Include the salient details. Your press release should include an attention-getting headline and a subhead beneath it. Follow up with contact information conveying how to reach your media contact. Also, provide a location relevant to the announcement. Proceed with the body. Include the who, what, when, where and why of the news. Last but not least, include boilerplate language on the background of your business.
  • Convey the news in a nutshell. This isn't the time to wax poetic. You want to be clear and concise about the announcement. Leave no room for confusion. Interested outlets can request any supplementary information on the story.
  • Use business speak. A press release should be more formal in tone than an average internal communication. So put on your journalist's hat when writing it. Maintain a neutral, professional tone throughout. This applies regardless of how lighthearted the announcement itself may seem to you.
  • Keep the receiver in mind. The recipient of the press release will be a reporter or broadcaster to whom you pitch it. If circulated, the announcement will reach the audience of the outlet. That would be its readers, listeners or viewers, depending on the medium. Strive to tailor the content to the interests of the outlet to which you are pitching it.

More tips for writing a press release

  • Optimise it for search engines. SEO-optimized press releases get more traction with search engines and more attention. So be sure to embed search keywords, links and images into the statement.
  • Pitch to many outlets. Your story may not get picked up by the first outlet to which you pitch. You need to reach out to more than one outlet to maximise the odds of publication or broadcast. But be sure to write a tailored message to each media contact you contact. You may also choose to get the news out through a distribution network like PR Newswire.
  • Make yourself available to the media. An interested reporter may come to you with questions or a request for a quote. After you fire off a pitch, be sure to make yourself available to supply this information. Not doing so can show a lack of interest or professionalism.